Immodest Proposal #1:
Daylight Savings Time Reform
Richard S. Holmes, RICH@suhep. phy. syr. edu
It happens every spring: crocuses, baseball (with any luck), and the switch to Daylight Savings Time (DST).
Coming off DST is not hard. In the Fall, we set our clocks back one hour. We all get an extra hour to sleep, and those who forget find themselves at church, or the airport, or wherever an hour early. Embarassing, but not catastrophic.
But in the Spring we set the clocks forward, and the trouble begins. We lose an hour of sleep. Forgetful people miss Mass, planes, breakfast, and the big game on TV. Some are thrown into disarray for up to a full week. Annual losses due to DST confusion have been estimated (by me) at over a million dollars. I myself have missed a flight to Washington and a showing of The Seven Samurai because of DST.
There is no need for such tragic waste. We can – we should and must – urge our lawmakers to reform Daylight Savings Time as follows:
Setting clocks back is easy; setting them forward is difficult. Therefore, let us keep the fall ritual as it is. However, one Sunday each Spring, let us set our clocks not one hour forward, but TWENTY-THREE HOURS BACKWARD.
Think of all the advantages. We will not lose an hour of sleep; we will gain (almost) a day of rest. It will be Saturday all over again. You will never again miss Confession, or an airplane, or the Redskins game.
Naturally, if this were the whole plan, our calendars would fall behind one day in each year. However, the second part of the Revised DST Plan deals with this. Every four years, instead of adding a day, let us SUBTRACT THREE DAYS. Furthermore, let these be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, which according to recent polls are the least popular days.
If done in February, which seems reasonable considering what a miserable month it is, this would have the beneficial side effect of shortening the excruciating presidential primary season by an effective four days.
The advantages of this plan are clear. Let us waste no time. With a determine d effort we can have Reformed Daylight Savings Time by Spring of next year.
Write your congressperson today!